January 28, 2009

Obama's best speech ever?

Obama's political speech of a lifetimeNO MATTER how memorable the speech Barack Obama gives today for his inauguration as the 44th president of the United States, he might not have become the nation's first African-American president had he fumbled a single word 10 months ago in his speech on race in Philadelphia. Asked if Obama would have been elected if he had faltered in the furor over the comments of Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright, senior adviser David Axelrod said, "Maybe not."

Wright became famous for decrying the "US of KKK A" and declaring "God damn America." Obama issued statements such as, "I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies . . . I reject outright the statements by Reverend Wright."

They were not enough. "You didn't need a PhD in politics to figure that out," Axelrod said in an interview last week. "The long-term effects of it were not knowable at that point, but the assumption was that unabated it could be a real problem."
Comment:  With all the talking we've done about Obama's Inaugural Address, it's worth remembering his speech on Reverend Jeremiah Wright and race. That was arguably his greatest speech ever. He even mentioned "Native American children" and didn't suggest anything questionable such as dissolving the "lines of tribe."

But does Obama really "categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country." Does he denounce this disparaging statement?Now, I understand the tragic history between the United States and tribal nations. Our government hasn’t always been honest and truthful in our dealings. And we’ve got to acknowledge that if we’re going to move forward in a fair and honest way.

Indian nations have never asked much of the United States--only for what was promised by the treaty obligations made to their forebears.
Or this one? "The United States is guilty of genocide." Because this last statement is mine. If he disparages it, I disparage his disparagement.

For more on the subject, see The 2008 Presidential Campaign.

Below:  A photograph disparages this great nation of ours. How dare this photo capture reality like that? It's anti-American...burn it!

1 comment:

Rob said...

Correspondent DMarks sent me a link suggesting Obama's inauguration speech was his worst ever. My response:

I doubt it was his worst ever, but I've heard him give speeches only a few times. I'm sticking with my opinion that it was about average.

In particular, I don't buy all the apologists who excused the speech, claiming, "This wasn't the time for grandiloquence" or "Just seeing him on the stage was momentous enough." When you have a worldwide audience of a billion people or whatever, it's exactly the time to be grandiloquent.

I'd say there's never a good excuse not to give the best speech possible. But that particular moment--with the economy sinking and wars ongoing--would've been among the best times in history to give a truly great speech. If you ask me, it was definitely a missed opportunity.